down the drain


down the drain


  • to waste something
  • to a futile end (nothing good happens in the end)
  • in a state of ruin
  • to waste something (usually money)
  • on the way to being lost

Example Sentences

  1. Fixing that old car is just money down the drain, it will never run properly again.
  2. I feel like I am just flushing money down the drain at this stage, no one can help me with my broken plumbing.
  3. All of my efforts seem to be going down the drain, no one seems to care.
  4. Since my brother took over my parents’ company, it is going down the drain.
  5. All of my savings have gone down the drain after our weekend in Vegas, I have almost nothing left.
  6. All of his lotto winnings have gone down the drain, he has wasted it on cars and parties.
  7. If you keep up acting like this, your reputation will go down the drain, no one will respect you anymore.
  8. My whole life is going down the drain waiting for this investment to make money.
  9. Our work went down the drain when NGO stopped funding the project in the halfway.
  10. If the factory closes, that will be a million pounds’ worth of investment down the drain.
  11. I’m scared I’m going to be out of a job, and my 12 years of experience will be down the drain.
  12. We cannot afford to let our train system go down the drain.
  13. A lot of money went down the drain in that Wilkinson deal.


The first mention of the term, in this context, is the early 1900s. It can be compared to water washing down the drain, you have nothing to show for it.

On the way to being lost or wasted; disappearing. For example, Buying new furniture when they can’t take it with them is just pouring money down the drain , or During the Depression huge fortunes went down the drain . This metaphoric term alludes to water going down a drain and being carried off. [Colloquial; c. 1920]


  • wasted; lost; abandoned; completely spoiled; gone

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